Dr. Li worked at SEI from 2006-2012, first as Deputy Director and later on as SEI Asia Centre Director. Before joining SEI, she was director of the Programme of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) and the Institute for Environment and Development in Beijing (IED), a Chinese NGO which she founded in 1994.

Over the last decade, Dr. Li has been studying and generating solutions to poverty and environmental degradation in the field, through capacity building, information dissemination, program development and inducing institutional and policy changes. Since 2000, she has focused on research on Corporate Social Responsibility and promoting it amongst Chinese small and medium enterprises.

She sits on the Board of Trustees of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Board of Directors of China Environment Protection Foundation, and is a council member of Earth Charter International. She holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh in the United States and was a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology and Anthropology at Peking University before starting IED.